United Nations: Security Council addresses Ukraine crisis

Status: 01/31/2022 05:33 a.m

From the US perspective, the Russian troop deployment on the Ukraine border threatens international peace. The highest decision-making body of the UN is now advising on the situation.

By Antje Passenheim, ARD Studio New York

For Washington’s UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the meeting in the Security Council is crucial. This day offers the Russians another opportunity for a diplomatic path, she says in an interview with the ABC television channel. The US diplomat emphasizes that the Security Council is united.

“Together we are asking the Russians to explain themselves,” she says. “We walk into the room ready to listen to them, but we are not distracted by their propaganda and are prepared to respond to any disinformation.”

For their part, the United States and its allies would like to put one thing on record at this meeting: they believe Russia is a threat to international security. With the transfer of around 100,000 soldiers to the border and their maneuvers, Moscow is threatening Ukraine with violence and is thus violating the UN Charter.

Disunited Security Council

The United States did not accept that Russia’s President Putin denied this. “You don’t gather 100,000 troops if you have no intention of using them,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

But whether the US and its Western allies will be able to send a strong enough signal to Russia is questionable. Because the voice of the Security Council is not as united as Thomas-Greenfield swears. China, for example, as Moscow’s tactical ally, left its stance open until the last minute.

And that’s not the only member state, says UN expert Richard Gowan from the Crisis Group think tank: “China, India and Brazil, for example, will be very reluctant to make vague statements at the meeting. Non-Western countries on the Council are always concerned about that in such debates they could be caught in the line of fire between Russia and the West.”

Russia cannot block session

Ukraine, which is not currently a member of the Security Council, has also been invited to speak at the session. A last-minute meeting – one day before Russia takes over the rotating presidency for a month and thus largely sets the agenda.

There is no way the permanent representatives of Moscow could block today’s meeting, says US Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield: “Russia cannot prevent the Security Council from holding this session. They will certainly try. They will try to distract from our unified voice . But they know they can’t block the session.”

UN observers conceivable?

The General Assembly, which cannot pass any resolutions, will continue to deal with the issue several times in the coming weeks. Many diplomats say the conflict cannot be resolved at UN level. But the United Nations could certainly actively accompany a relaxation process.

UN expert Gowan agrees: “Since the Ukraine crisis in 2014, there have always been suggestions that a final resolution on eastern Ukraine could result in the deployment of UN blue helmets.”

If the current situation eases again, it cannot be ruled out that Moscow and Ukraine will ask the United Nations to send UN observers to the region to accompany a possible diplomatic solution.


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